Forest Canopies as Earth’s Support Systems: Priorities for Research and Conservation

  • Reinmar Seidler
  • Kamaljit S. Bawa
  • Margaret Lowman
  • Nalini M. Nadkarni


In this chapter we address three sets of questions about the present and future role of canopy science within the larger context of forest science. First we review research that either promotes or constrains canopy science as a distinct field. Second, we examine what is known about how canopies are being altered by human use of tropical forests, and consider priorities for research in human interactions with forest canopies. Third, we ask how canopy science can help address the urgent need to understand patterns of human impacts and global environmental changes, specifically in tropical forest ecosystems. It is evident from this volume that canopy researchers are shifting their priorities toward forest canopy conservation by embracing whole-forest approaches with reference to ecosystem services, forest health, climate change, sustainability science, economics, education, and the social sciences.


Forest conservation Stratification Ecosystem services Disturbance Capacity building 



 The Bangalore workshop and the work on this manuscript were supported by grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation (DEB 0542130 and DEB 0956301).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reinmar Seidler
    • 1
  • Kamaljit S. Bawa
    • 2
  • Margaret Lowman
    • 3
  • Nalini M. Nadkarni
    • 4
  1. 1.University of MassachusettsBostonUSA
  2. 2.Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE)BangaloreIndia
  3. 3.North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, North Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  4. 4.Center for Science and Mathematics EducationUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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